This reminds me of a paper I wrote in high school. We were supposed to write 10 pieces of advice as if we were writing a college essay, so I wrote The 10 Commandments of Ade. I should dig it up sometime, I bet it's on one of my old Zip disks. The ones I remember were: Thou shalt not eat Swiss cheese, Thou shalt choose thy religion wisely, and Thou shalt not trust a skinny chef. It was an interesting mixture of silliness and insight, and my teacher said I should publish it (I didn't, but now I want to find it and read it... if only I could figure out where the heck I stashed my old Zip disks, unless it's on my desktop computer somewhere).
Anyway, here are some current words to live by:
1. Never trust a skinny chef. Look at Paula Deen, Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batali, Ina Garten... even Rachael Ray has some meat on those bones (she's nowhere near fat, but she sure knows how to make and enjoy a great meal). They know what they're doing, and I think The Food Network is one of the very few media industries that doesn't hound its stars to be skinnier and skinnier. Sure, there are healthy cooking shows starring slimmer chefs, but you just can't beat the orgasmic look on Paula Deen's face when she digs into a piece of pie. Y'all.
2. If you're unhappy about something in your life that you do have control over, quit your whining and do something about it. You'll feel better, really. Sure, it's easier to sit back and blame others or complain all day, but it's really annoying when people consistently complain about things they're perfectly capable of fixing or use mental illness as an excuse for their inaction. [About that last comment, I'm not saying people with mental illnesses are whiny and lazy. Mental illness is an illness, and sometimes it does render people inactive. What I'm talking about here is when people choose to avoid treating a mental illness and then use it as an excuse for not dealing with their problems, or use it to manipulate people who care about them. I know several people who are guilty of this.]
3. Don't simultaneously drive and talk on your cell phone.
4. Don't drive one of those Hummers or a giant SUV if you don't absolutely need one for practical reasons. Also, if you drive a Hummer, you are automatically a douchebag.
5. Don't be afraid to end a relationship (whether it's a friendship, romantic relationship, family connection, etc.) if there are serious problems that aren't being resolved. Many times it's worth it to communicate and work out problems, and relationships can be repaired. But many times, people maintain connections because they care about the other person, don't want to hurt anyone, are afraid of loneliness, and so forth. But sometimes it's better to let go and move on, and you'll be better off in the long run. Are you friends with someone who's sweet and funny but annoying as hell and constantly gets on your nerves? Time to back away and focus your attention on people you enjoy hanging out with. Boyfriend consistently refuses to commit? Get out of that dead-end relationship and find someone who wants the same level of commitment you do. Did your crazy fundamentalist aunt whip out the fire and brimstone when you came out of the closet, and now she beats you over the head with a bible at every family picnic? You have every right to break off contact. Sure, ending any relationship can be painful, but it's like ripping off a band-aid. Do it quickly, and brace yourself for sharp pain that will soon go away. Peel at it slowly, and it will prolong the stinging. And if you leave a band-aid on too long, it'll get soggy, and you'll get lint stuck to the edges and stuff... ok, screw that metaphor.
6. On that note, know your priorities and stick to them. Chicks before dicks, and bros before hoes. Never put a lover before the other important people in your life (friends, children, your dog, etc.) unless you're married or something. Romantic relationships are usually temporary, whether they last for days or years, but remember that many of the other important people will stick around long after you break up. Even if you do marry the person, always nurture your other relationships and don't push them aside.
7. Always take time to play. Leave work at work, and go home and unwind with video games, or play tug-o'-war with your puppy. It's healthy.
8. Young adult fantasy is totally a respectable genre. Screw you if you say otherwise!